Leaning into the allure of achievement, big corporations have been able to capitalize on capturing the attention of millions across the globe who aspire to one day reach the league or land atop the Billboard charts. While Nike personifies the spirit of athletes that aspire to excellence and Apple represents the ethos of innovators making the world more connected.
Adidas stands for creators actively redefining industries and disrupting business models. With a growing roster of notable change-makers such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, the apparel company aims to represent today’s ambitious era of multi-hyphenates, reflecting an influence that extends beyond a singular segment.
Julian Mitchell: Describe the inspiration behind this year’s ComplexCon activation and why this experience was important to introduce at the conference?
Torben: Our biggest source of inspiration is always our consumer, and the constant feedback we receive about our brand events and experiences. We challenged ourselves to show up at ComplexCon with moments that bridge the gap between cultural icons and their fans, while offering great product through a fully digital shopping experience. In addition to our new design with Pusha T, we worked closely to give local aspiring musicians one-on-one time with him during ComplexCon. As part of the Sound Labs program, those chosen by Pusha T worked to earn a musical development grant.
It’s been a busy few months for Pharrell Williams. Not long after starring in Adidas’ World Cup ad, collaborating with Camila Cabello, and announcing his foray into gastronomy, he’s now the subject of a comprehensive editorial in Vogue Italia. Touching on a myriad of topics including the meaning behind N*E*R*D’s “Lapdance” to his relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, the interview provides insight into William’s varied career, and how he views it. Here are the best bits.
On the meaning behind N.E.R.D’s “Lapdance”
“Most people don’t realize but our first single, Lapdance, was about the Bush administration; about how we felt politicians were more like dancers than they were politicians – they dance around the point.”
On how he’s giving back to Virginia Beach, the community he grew up in.
“One of the projects I’m dealing with now is building soundstages for film studios to come and work in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where I’m from – I gotta give back … The soundstages are priority for me. I know the kind of jobs they will create; the kind of economic trajectory it can have on my city and the neighboring ones.”
After teaming up with N*E*R*D to release an apparel training collection, Adidas Originals and Pharrell Williams are back at it again with a brand new collection, inspired by the Los Angels hiking culture. Launching in the coming days, Pharrell and Adidas’ collection will feature a slew of outerwear garments and heavy duty clothing in multiple colors and design patterns. Compromised of jackets, hoodies, bottoms, footwear and accessories, the capsule serves as the first hiking collection ever to be released by the Three Stripes in collaboration with an artist.
Along with the apparel garments, Adidas Originals will also release four brand new HU NMD Trail sneakers in four brand new colorways—nobink, black, multi-colored and sun glow. Constructed with a full prime knit canvas, the sneakers include a thicker outsole than previous iterations for better traction and support. The all-new adidas Originals x Pharrell Statement Hiking collection will release worldwide at select adidas retailers and accounts on Sat., Nov. 11. Look for Adidas to unveil the full range of apparel items in the days to come before the collection’s release.
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